A report by Accenture published on Wednesday predicted that cash usage would fall by an average of 30 per cent across Europe this year. Visa is hoping to accelerate the move by convincing more public transport networks to introduce contactless payments and pushing regulators to raise the limits on the maximum size of contactless transactions.
Several countries have temporarily increased the limits during the pandemic in response to concerns about handling cash, up to £45 in the UK and €50 in much of Europe. Ms Hogg said that while “I don’t think we would jump to doubling it just yet”, she believes that ultimately the contactless limit should be big enough to cover a household’s weekly grocery shop.
Contactless payments will continue to grow as time passes, thanks to COVID-19 and the desire to touch as few surfaces as possible. In some countries, contactless payments have a monetary cap, but in the United States, it’s not uncommon to “tap” a $500 purchase at an electronics store.
I can think of very few places where I have to touch a terminal to interact with it. I tap my American Express card for groceries, I tap my Costco Visa at Costco, and most of my discretionary spending comes from online, these days. The only two places that immediately come to mind are my doctor’s office (they take the card from me and insert it into their terminal) and the gas station (I insert).
Just yesterday I was pondering if people are still taking out cash from ATMs like they used to. I couldn’t help but think about how much money that’s changing hands could potentially have live virus on it. Granted, I never thought about this before COVID-19, so there could be some sensationalization at play, here.